XVII International Art Festival INTERAKCJE

19-22th may 2015, Piotrków Trybunalski

This year festival is attempting to find reference to an open form and didactic practice of Oskar Hansen in the works of ephemeral arts? artists. The concept implies the realization of the art festival in the new formula. On the one hand, this realization relies on the strategies of art presentation developed through many years? experience of the Interakcje Festival. On the other hand, it is based on the strategies of an optimum, sometimes risky, opening, which are the result of living art?s experience. What we propose is to create the festival of ?art in progress?, assuming that the festival is mainly the area that generates new realization as a result of meetings of artists representing different artistic backgrounds in one place and time. Thereby we put the functions of the festival understood as a place of a presentation of an actual work of invited artists into a further place. During this edition of the festival the pre-prepared shows, usually so relevant, will not occupy a predominant position even when they are visually attractive, provocative officially or by a text, leading directly to the traditional relation: viewer- work of art. The festival is open space for actions, experience and an experiment in modern art.

We assume that this year festival will create a chance to recognize a new situation, in which basic segments form areas of creation and confrontation, theoretical and historical reflection. The value marking out this edition will be the spreading borders of the Interakcje Festival to the areas of workshop and education experience, which is considered autonomic space of modern art.

The schedule of each edition of the festival is developed in collaboration with the chosen artists – the participants of the festival, who are at the same time art curators of the event. Only then this festival is something beyond the list of names and we can notice something more than individual artistic decisions in numerous modern art forms, and also trends and tendencies, local relationships, the influence of different cultures, civilizational contexts, historical experience.

The art curator and the author of the essential concept of the 15th edition of the festival is a British artist, Sandra Johnston. She is from Northern Ireland, she creates performance, audio-visual installations, processual drawings. Within years 2002 – 2005 she was a member of Arts Humanities Research Council ? Research Fellowship (A.H.R.C) at the Ulster University. At that time she conducted the research related to trauma and commemoration. She was a lecturer in Time-Based Art at the Ulster University in Belfast and also a visiting professor in Bauhaus University in Weimar. In autumn 2012 she took up a position of a higher lecturer of The Fine Arts at the Northumbria University. Sandra Johnston participated in Biennial in Venice in 2005 and in Liverpool Biennial in 2004. Her works, naturally experimental, come into existence as a reaction to met places. Each of her works is a dialogue between emotions and memories, existing in tension with vitality and persistence of an elapsing moment and peculiarity of a place.

The festival will take place within 20th – 22nd of May 2015 in Piotrków Trybunalski. The places of the festival: the art galleries ODA (5 Dąbrowskiego St. and 8 Sieradzka St.), but also public areas, among others: Focus Mall or Old Town Square.

The schedule of this festival created by Sandra Johnston is continuation of the concept proposed by Janusz Bałdyga – the curator of the festival last year. Invited artists: Sandra Johnston (Great Britain), Kurt Johannessen (Norway), Terese Longva (Norway), Marita Bullmann (Germany), Volodymir Kaufman (Ukraine), Tomasz Szrama (Finland/Polska), Jozsef R. Juhasz (Slovakia), Wenming Tong (China), Janusz Bałdyga (Poland), Przemysław Kwiek (Poland), Zygmunt Piotrowski (Poland), Michał Bałdyga (Poland), Paweł Kwaśniewski (Poland), Denys Blacker (Great Britain), Beate Linne (Germany), Deborah Guinnane (Great Britain), Paulina Pankiewicz (Poland), Julia Popławska (Poland), Adam Łuczak (Poland), Danylo Kovach (Ukraine), Vitalii Shupliak (Ukraine), Petro Riaska (Ukraine).

The festival is divided into three complementary parts:

  1. ?Manifestation? – individual, actual works of performance art artists.
  2. ?Open process? – works that are going to be created as an effect of mutual works and mutual influence on the level: artist – artist, master – student.
  3. ?Space? – activities in a public area mainly in The Focus Mall.


Sandra Johnston, February 2015


For Interakcje 2015, I propose to bring together a group of artists who?s work I believe generates sensations of empathy and connection in viewers beyond the immediate, apparent meanings of their physical gestures. What I would like to explore (both through solo and collective works) is the importance of being ?touched? by actions, and how this engenders responses in the nervous system of the viewer. Often, the sensitivity or starkness of performances renders us unable to respond verbally to the transitions that have occurred in moments of rawness, gravitas, restraint and release.

What I am suggesting is testing an, ?anatomy of chance?, for these moments generally evade contrivance, they tend not to occur through conception and control, but through immediacy or surrender in the compulsion of circumstances. I am interested in how we adapt as artists to the realities that performance art is, for the most part, generated as a constructed situation. We work often in quasi-neutral environments yet, our desire is to work beyond the effect, or staging of ideas, moving simultaneously inwards and outwards into the potentiality of chance.

The selected artists represent for me different aspects of the spectrum of empathetic communication, which I feel is a particularly notable aspect of performance art. In the work of some, there is an exquisite gentleness and a refusal to dramatize or create spectacle – a lightness of touch – where absurdity delicately opens up sensations of innocence and awareness beyond rationality. In others an uncompromising clarity in the images presented, stoic beauty, or the ability to produce impenitent emptiness and silence. In yet others, the dignity of protest, anger, an inability to turn away from issues of conscience.

Each of us belongs to a quiet network, we live in, and on, and off, the memory and generosity of a scattered community of artists. In the past few years my connection to organizations such as Bbeyond, PAErsche, Mobius, Black Market International, Corpologia, The Performance Collective, PAB, Unit 1, TRACE, OUI, etc., have all enriched not only my understanding of this art form that we are collectively evolving, but also my understanding of emotional intelligence in all of it?s manifestations. Considering, the possibilities of our capacity to feel multifaceted reactions on behalf of others, and the carrying of these sensations forward as memorable encounters. In this regard, I feel it is important that in our time together we engender a sense of collaboration, so part of the daily structure is to offer a space for different kinds of mutually arranged investigation.

Therefore, How You Move Me, is about the vulnerability of gifting something from ones own internal experience unto others, in order for us all to continue to grow.


The structure will be based on developing 3 variations of collaborative open sessions during the daytime, preferably in different locations. Artists can choose to perform in these sessions or not and changes in the daily structure will reflect group discussions and suggestions. In the evening there will be a program of solo works with different artists performing each evening.